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ICC Revokes Bemba’s Bail Award


Posted Thursday, December 3 2009

The Hague, Thursday

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has reversed its own decision to award bail to Congolese war crimes suspect Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Judges at The Hague decided Mr Bemba, Democratic Republic of Congo’s ex-vice-president, might flee if set free.

Mr Bemba, who has not entered a plea, is accused of leading militias who murdered and raped civilians in Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003. He was arrested in Belgium last year and extradited to The Hague.

Host country

The court had granted him bail in August, but said he would not be freed until it could be decided which country would host him. But appeals judge Akua Kuenyehia ruled that there was a risk he would flee, and revoked the bail.

Mr Bemba led a militia known as the Movement for the Liberation of Congo during DR Congo’s brutal civil war.

After a peace deal ending the war in 2003, he laid down his arms and joined an interim government as vice-president.

But fighters from his militia have been accused of committing atrocities when they intervened in the conflict in the Central African Republic.

But he says his troops were not under his command once they crossed the border into CAR to help put down a coup attempt in 2002. (BBC)



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